Back in 1961, Maura Foley opened a cake shop in Kenmare. She didn't have a mixer, by the way, but it didn’t stop her. Later, she ran The Lime Tree restaurant. In 1991, she opened Packie's Restaurant, in the centre of town. Then, in the mid-1990s she and her husband, Tom, began to renovate and develop Shelburne Lodge, on the Cork Road, which first appeared in McKennas' Guides in 1997. Which leads us to ask: has any other Irish person had such a major impact on the food culture of an Irish town? The answer, we would say is: no. Mrs Foley's standards have set the template for Kenmare for more than half a century. Her achievement is immense: a most distinguished cook, a most distinguished hostess, a most distinguished restaurateur. And Shelburne Lodge stands as testament to all her gifts, a most beautiful house characterised by fabulous comfort and imaginative design, characterised by great cooking – the Shelburne breakfast is one of the best – characterised by spontaneous generosity. Maura Foley is a legend.
NEW! Ireland the Best 100 Places
Hardback, out October 2019
John and Sally McKenna have selected 100 extraordinary Places throughout Ireland that epitomize what is unique and entrancing about the beautiful island of Ireland.
More along the Kerry coast
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